Dr. Alex Mihailidis

alex Dr. Alex Mihailidis, Ph.D., P.Eng., is the Barbara G. Stymiest Research Chair in Rehabilitation Technology at the University of Toronto and Toronto Rehab Institute.  He is also the Scientific Director of the AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence, which focuses on the development of new technologies and services for older adults. He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy (U of T) and in the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering (U of T), with a cross appointment in the Department of Computer Science (U of T).   He has been conducting research in the field of pervasive computing and intelligent systems in health for the past 15 years, having published over 150 journal papers, conference papers, and abstracts in this field.  He has specifically focused on the development of intelligent home systems for elder care and wellness, technology for children with autism, and adaptive tools for nurses and clinical applications.  He currently holds several major research grants from internationally recognized funding agencies to support this work (including both the Canadian and American Alzheimer Associations, NSERC, and CIHR). His research has been completed through collaborations with other researchers in this field from Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and with various industrial partners.  Dr. Mihailidis has also co-edited two books: one from CRC Press entitled “Pervasive computing in healthcare”, and the other from IOS Press entitled “Technology and Aging”, which resulted from him being the conference chair for the 2nd International Conference on Technology and Aging.  Dr. Mihailidis is also very active in the rehabilitation engineering profession, currently as the Immediate Past-President for RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America).  He was also named a Fellow of RESNA in 2014, which is one of the highest honours within this field of research and practice.

Talk: Disrupting the technology and aging landscape: New technology and approaches

ABSTRACT: There has been significant research completed on the development of technologies to support the wellness of older adults. However, the majority of these devices have not made it to market and suffer from various limitations that make them inappropriate for an older adult to operate efficiently and effectively.  In order to ensure that future technologies for aging are useful, new ways of thinking in their designs is required. Disruption in the current technology landscape is needed that will force the way that we think about the design of these technology to change. This presentation will discuss the notion of disruptive technologies and how we are currently applying this concept is the design of our next generation of technologies for older adults.

Dr. Surjo Soekadar

surjo Dr. Med. Surjo R. Soekadar (M) is a senior research scientist at the Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, and resident physician at the University Hospital of Tübingen. From 2008-2011, he worked as a research fellow at the Human Cortical Physiology and Stroke Neurorehabilititation Section (HCPS) at the NIH, USA. His research interests include cortical plasticity in the context of brain-machine interface (BMI) applications, non-invasive brain stimulation and neural mechanisms of learning and memory. Surjo Soekadar is member of board of several NGOs dealing with improving health care in developing countries. He received various prizes such as the NIH-DFG Research Career Transition Award (2008) and the NIH Fellows’ Award for Research Excellence (2011), and the international BCI Research Award 2012.

Talk: Upper extremity brain/neural-machine interface (B/NMI)-based neurorehabilitation

ABSTRACT: Since their first conception almost four decades ago, brain/neural-machine interfaces (B/NMIs) have now become versatile tools that demonstrated the capacity to restitute or restore body and brain functions. Besides allowing for direct brain communication in locked-in patients or high-dimensional control of robotic arms, there is increasing evidence that BMIs are powerful tools to purposefully shape structure and function of the human brain, a property important for the development of personalized new treatment options for various neurological disorders, such as stroke or spinal cord injury (SCI). However, broad and widespread clinical application of BMIs is still lagging behind these technological possibilities. The talk will provide a comprehensive overview of the most promising developments in the B/NMI field and discuss possible future developments, such as combining B/NMI systems with non-invasive brain stimulation.

Dr. Suzanne Martin

suzanne Dr. Suzanne Martin (F) is an Occupational Therapist with a PhD in computing and Mathematics. Suzanne has an academic contract with the University of Ulster and within this an honorary contract with CF for last 10 years. Suzanne works with CF on a range of research projects exploring the development and integration of emerging technologies within community based services for people with physical disability. Her research expertise is on user centric participation/design in research, qualitative research methods supporting e-inclusion and participation in society. Suzanne is a member of the Office Research Ethics Northern Ireland (ORECNI) and Chair of the Research and Development Board for the College of Occupational Therapists United Kingdom.

Talk: TBD

Dr. Jeffrey W. Jutai

jeff Dr. Jutai is a psychologist who received his M.Sc. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of British Columbia and his B.Sc. from the University of Toronto. For more than twenty years, he has been doing research on assistive technologies for persons of all ages who have a sensory or physical disability. Dr. Jutai has significant experience and expertise with research syntheses (systematic reviews) on topics relating to physical rehabilitation. At the University of Ottawa, he has taught course on technology and health, information systems in health, and experiences of illness, impairment, disability, and health care.

Talk: Innovation in the Development of New Assistive Technologies: The AGE-WELL Approach

To help ensure the successful adoption and diffusion of assistive technologies (AT) that support healthy living for older adults with disabilities, it is important that we understand and respect how ethical and social (including cultural) factors may influence AT outcomes.  The AGE-WELL Network of Centres of Excellence includes a transdisciplinary team of researchers (called ETHICS-TECH) committed to bringing ethical reflection to bear on technologies to help older persons to maintain their autonomy, health and social participation, and technologies used in the care and support of older adults. ETHICS-TECH projects have focused on research on developing conceptual frameworks and methods for structuring research, educating stakeholders and facilitating policy. They investigate factors that are most likely to contribute to disparities and ethical problems in the development, adoption and diffusion of emerging technologies. Privacy, security and equity are examples of factors that we have examined.  This presentation will describe how our research contributes to innovative approaches to developing new AT.

Dr. Roberto Llorens

robertollorens Roberto Llorens graduated from the Polytechnic University of Valencia (UPV) in 2007 with a major in Telecommunications Engineering. He also earned a Masters in Technology, Communication Systems and Networks in 2011 and got a Doctorate Degree Cum Laude in 2014. His growing interest in applied science led to his association with LabHuman in January 2008, where he currently works as a scientific coordinator of the Neurorehabilitation Department, leading several research projects combined with teaching and supervision of several Doctoral Theses and Master Theses. His research interests focus on the understanding of the neural mechanisms underlying motor control (mainly balance) and cognitive skills, the study of the neurophysiological substrate of these processes and the application of virtual reality in experimental neurorehabilitation therapies. Roberto Lloréns also carries out his research as a Research Associate in the Neurorehabilitation and Brain Injury Service of NISA Hospitals (Valencia, Spain), and as a Research fellow in the Virtual Environment and Postural Orientation Lab of Temple University (Philadelphia, PA, USA).

Talk: TBD

Prof. Alicia Casals

alicia Prof. Alicia Casals. Her background is in Electrical and Electronic Engineering and PhD in Computer Vision. She is professor at the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), in the Automatic Control and Computer Engineering Department. She is currently Associate researcher at the Institute for Biomedical Engineering of Catalonia (IBEC). She is part of the Biomedical Engineering PhD Program at UPC. Her research field is in robotic systems and control strategies for rehabilitation, assistance and surgical applications. She leads he Robotics and Vision Group in the Center of Research in Biomedical Engineering, CREB-UPC. She is currently president of the IEEE EMBS Committee on Biorobotics.

Talk: Assistive engineering for independent living

Professor Yiannis Demiris

Professor Yiannis Demiris heads the Personal Robotics Laboratory at Imperial College London (www.imperial.ac.uk/PersonalRobotics). His research interests include assistive robotics, user modelling, human-robot collaboration, cognitive and developmental robotics, multi robot systems, and  applications of intelligent robotics in healthcare.  His research is funded by the EU FP7 and H2020 programs  through projects WYSIWYD and PAL, and a US/UK MURI grant, all  addressing novel machine learning  approaches to human-robot interaction.  He received the Rectors Award for  Teaching Excellence, and the Faculty of Engineering Award for Excellence in Engineering Education in 2012. He is a Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society (FRSS), the British Computer  Society (FBCS) and the  Institute of Engineering and Technology (FIET). 

Talk: User Modelling for Adaptive Assistance in Adults and Children with Disabilities

ABSTRACT: As humans and robots increasingly co-exist  in home and rehabilitation settings for extended periods of time, it is crucial to factor in the participants’ constantly evolving profiles and adapt the assistance to the personal characteristics of the individuals involved. In this talk, I will describe our computational
architectures for enabling human robot interaction in assistive tasks, and discuss the related computational problems, including attention, perspective taking, prediction of forthcoming states, online learning and shared control.  I will give some examples with  robotic wheelchairs for shared control with disabled kids  and adults, among others.

 María Peña Rodriguez, PhD

mariapena María Peña Rodriguez is Innovation manager of BJ Adaptaciones, PhD in electronics engineering, BSc in Physics. Coordinates innovation projects at BJ since 2009.

Talk: BJLive! Smart solutions that suit you.

ABSTRACT: BJLive! designs, manufactures and distributes assistive technology devised to improve the autonomy, communication opportunities, access to work and leisure of people with disabilities. Our Barcelona-based company offers a full range of products that adapt to the specific needs of the persons, allowing them to interact and engage with the environment, to learn and to be as autonomous as possible. Our products range from those allowing access to social networks, via smartphones or tablets, to those that create multisensory spaces and control the environment.

 Prof. Dr. Nicola Vitiello

nicola Nicola Vitiello received the MSc degree in biomedical engineering from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2006, and from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (SSSA), Pisa, Italy, in 2007. He also received the PhD degree in Biorobotics from SSSA, Pisa, Italy, in 2010. He is currently Assistant Professor with The BioRobotics Institute, SSSA where he leads the Wearable Robotics Laboratory. He has served as the Scientific Secretary of the EU FP7 CA-RoboCom project, and he was the scientific project coordinator of the EU FP7 CYBERLEGs project and the EARLYREHAB project funded by Regione Toscana. Currently he is the scientific project coordinator of the IUVO research project funded by a local bank Foundation, namely “Fondazione Pisa”, and Partner of the H2020-ICT-AIDE project. On January 2015 he was one of the co-founders of the spin-off company IUVO S.R.L.

Talk: TBD

Dr. Rui C.V. Loureiro

rui_loureiro5 Head of Centre, Aspire CREATe – Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology

UCL Institute of Orthopaedics and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University College London,
Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, Brockley Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 4LP, UK

Talk: Pain no more: the role of rehabilitation robotics in the treatment of neuropathic pain

Dr. José María Tormos


Jose M Tomos Muñoz is MD and PhD by the University of Valencia. His doctoral thesis was aimed to study the parameters of noninvasive brain stimulation for modulating cortical excitability and modulation design strategies to optimize rehabilitation outcomes. He was post doctoral researcher affiliated to the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation, under the direction of Prof. Alvaro Pascual-Leone, at Harvard University. He was Associate Professor of the Dep. of Medicine at the University of Valencia. In his work he has demonstrated the noninvasive brain stimulation in the treatment of depression, aphasia rehabilitation and treatment of movement disorders such as Parkinson’s stiffness, focal dystonia, or idiopathic scoliosis. Since 2003 he is research director of Institut Guttmann. He has participated in research projects of the AVANZA, INNPACTO, CENIT, ETES, IMSERSO R & D, CENIT, FP6 and FP7 programs, and has been Host researcher of one of the BBVA chairs for translational research. He is director of the Master in Neurorehabilitation of the Guttmann Neurorehabilitation Institute. He is author of over 60 scientific articles on subjects related to neuronal plasticity and strategies for assessment and modulation of the plastic changes in clinical settings, aimed at optimizing the result of interventions in neurorehabilitation, and is co-author of 4 patents in the field of neurotechnologies.

Talk: Technology and Neurorehabilitation, efficiency to the effectiveness and knowledge

Dr. Loredana Zollo


Loredana Zollo, MS 2000, PhD 2004, is Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Università Campus Bio-Medico in Rome. In 2000-2004 she joined ARTS Lab (Advanced Robotics Technology and Systems Laboratory) of the Scuola Superiore Sant’ Anna in Pise. In 2003 she was visiting student at the Laboratory of Neuroscience INSERM483, at the University Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. In 2008 she was appointed assistant professor at UCBM. Her research interests are mainly in the fields of neuro-robotics and biomedical robotics on the following research topics: kinematic and dynamic analysis of robot manipulators, control of robot manipulators with elastic joints and flexible links, interaction control, teleoperated control, biological motor control and its application to robotics, multi-sensory integration and sensory-motor coordination of anthropomorphic robotic systems. In 2009-2012 she was co-chair of the IEEE Robotics and Automation’s Technical Committee on Rehabilitation and Assistive Robotics. She was member of the IEEE-RAS Chapter of the Year Award Evaluation Panel in 2012–2013. In 2012–2015 she was member of the editorial board as Associate Editor of IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine and International Journal of Advanced Robotic Systems. She currently is member of the editorial board of the book series Springer BIOSYSTEMS & BIOROBOTICS (BioSysRob).  She is expert and reviewer within the H2020 research program and has been involved in many EU-funded and national projects in her application fields. She has authored/coauthored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications appeared in international journals, books and conference proceedings.

Talk: Closed-loop interfaces for rehabilitation and assistive robots

The emerging evidence that the introduction of closed-loop interfaces into intentional motor behaviours can produce therapeutic benefits has fostered a growing interest in this new generation of interfaces where recording and stimulating capabilities are combined in so-called closed-loop devices. This talk will present and discuss main challenges and achievements on closed-loop devices in the two areas of motor recovery and functional substitution, focusing on rehabilitation robotics and upper-limb prosthetics. Robot-aided neuro-rehabilitation has been proven to be an effective therapeutic approach for motor recovery, though its actual potential when compared to other conventional approaches has still to be fully demonstrated. Starting from a critical analysis of the achievements to-date, this talk will present a complete overview on bio-cooperative systems for neuro-rehabilitation, and will discuss main open challenges in this area. An overview on closed-loop systems for upper-limb prosthetics will follow, with attention to control and sensorization of hand prostheses interfacing with the Peripheral Nervous System, and their clinical validation on amputees. Examples and case-studies, being carried out at the Research Unit of Biomedical Robotics and Biomicrosystems of the Campus Bio-Medico University of Rome, on bio-cooperative controllers and intuitive human-machine interfaces, restoration of sensory feedback (e.g. via neural interfaces) and learning capabilities will be presented as illustrative cases of how to build such closed-loop devices.

Dr. Rafal Nowak


Rafal Nowak received MSc degree in Physics in 1998 and the PhD degree in Medical Physics in 2003 from the University of Poznan, Poland on the analysis of the brain bioelectrical activity in children with epilepsy, after which he received a postdoctoral research fellowship from University of Barcelona (Brainlab-Cognitive Neuroscience Research Group) where he conducted research on oscillatory brain activity and ERP (P3/MMN). In 2006, he completed Master of Advanced Studies in Neuroscience from the University of Barcelona and in 2012 Program for Management Development (PDG) at ESADE Business School (Barcelona). Since 2007 he was leading research  projects on epilepsy, TBI and schizophrenia at the MEG Laboratory (Teknon Hospital, Barcelona). He has been a researcher at the Hirosaki University (Japan), Kiel University (Germany) and University of Barcelona and also worked in the industry with the 4D Neuroimaging (Sand Diego, USA) and Functional Neuroimaging (Barcelona, Spain). His research interests include brain neuroimaging (MEG, EEG, fMRI) and brain stimulation. At Neuroelectrics, he is currently the principal investigator of the H2020 STIPED project.

Talk: New technologies in transcranial current stimulation 

The talk will provide a broad overview of models and technologies pertaining to transcranial current brain stimulation (tCS), a family of related noninvasive techniques including direct current (tDCS), alternating current (tACS), and random noise current stimulation (tRNS). These techniques are based on the delivery of weak currents through the scalp, resulting in weak electric fields in the brain (with amplitudes of about 0.2-2 V/m). I will review the biophysics and simulation of noninvasive, current-controlled generation of electric fields in the human brain and the models for the interaction of these electric fields with neurons, including a survey of in vitro and in vivo related studies. I will present new technologies for tCS we are developing at Neuroelectrics, neuroimaging systems during tCS, closed loop stimulation, tCS (home) clinical applications and a new line of neuroscience data analysis focussed on neurological disease biomarkers. Finally, I will outline directions for future fundamental, clinical and technological research.

Dr. Thierry Keller

Thierry Keller received his Dipl. Ing. degree in electrical engineering (M.Sc.E.E.) and his Doctorate (Dr. sc. Techn.) from the ETH Zurich, Switzerland in 1995 and 2001, respectively. Currently, Dr. Keller is the head of the Neurorehabilitation Department at Tecnalia, the largest private research center in Spain. Main activities of the Neurorehabilitation Department are research & innovation of novel enabling technologies for rehabilitation robotics, tele-rehabilitation, technologies for physical and cognitive prevention, and FES technologies including neuroprostheses. Dr. Keller is principal investigator in national and international projects and chaired the EU COST action TD1006: European Network on Robotics for Neurorehabilitation. He developed various neuroprostheses that help improve walking and grasp functions in spinal cord injured and stroke subjects. His research interests are in the fields of rehabilitation engineering and robotics, neural prostheses, signal processing and human-machine interaction. Dr. Keller is the President of the International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS), and steering committee member of the International Industry Society in Advanced Rehabilitation Technologies (IISART). Since 2015 he chairs the umbrella society ‘International Consortium for Rehabilitation Technologies (ICRT)’, which associates IISART, IFESS, ICORR and ICVR with the aim to organize joint conferences under the label rehabweek.

Talk: Neurorehabilitation Technologies: Tecnalia as Facilitator between Clinical Needs and the Provider Industry

The impact of Neurorehabilitation Technologies builds up on three main drivers: The societal driver caused by the aging of the population, the technological driver, i.e. the availability of advanced technologies for monitoring, assessment and interventions, and the clinical driver, mainly the increasing base of evidence and the fact that advanced rehabilitation technologies can activate unused recovery potential. Specifically after stroke such advanced technologies can increase user involvement, motivation and therefore facilitate higher therapy frequency and longer duration. The continuation of the therapy in local and smaller rehabilitation facilities and at home can follow the clinical rehabilitation. Current challenges for rehabilitation engineers are the implementation of affordable rehabilitation systems for outpatient centers and the development of cost effective solutions for home environments. On the example of the Tecnalia innovation model, and Tecnalia’s active participation in Scientific Networks and Business Associations for promoting and ramping up advanced rehabilitation technologies a possible path from the initial ideas to a successful exploitation of rehabilitation technologies will be presented and discussed. Specific emphasis will be given to necessary needs on the transformation of advanced rehabilitation technologies from a pioneering to an established field in healthcare.

Dr. Francisco Florez-Revuelta

Dr Francisco Florez-Revuelta is an Associate Professor at the Department of Computer Technology, University of Alicante (Spain) where he belongs to the Domotics and Ambient Intelligence (DAI) research group and the University Institute for Computer Research (IUII). Between 2011 and 2016, he had several positions (Marie Curie fellow, and Senior Researcher) at the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University, where he led the Theme on Technologies for Active and Assisted Living in the Interdisciplinary Hub for the Study of Health and Age-related conditions (IhSHA). He was also a member of the Digital Imaging Research Centre. His main research work is focused on ambient assisted living: person-environment interaction, computer vision, and support to the activities of daily living of elderly and/or disabled people. This is the area of application of his research expertise in computational intelligence (neural networks, evolutionary computation), computer vision, home automation, and assistive technologies. He is a member of COST Actions IC1303 – AAPELE Algorithms, Architectures and Platforms for Enhanced Living Environments, and IC1206 – De-Identification for Privacy Protection in Multimedia Content. He is also the chair of TechAAL – IET International Conference on Technologies for Active and Assisted Living.


Technology is gradually gaining acceptance as a means to complement the work of caregivers by monitoring and assisting persons with reduced physical or cognitive capacity in their day-to-day living. Ambient Assisted Living (AAL) environments make use of a variety of sensors that collect information from the environment or its dwellers. In the last decade, enormous advances have been made with regard to automated and reliable recognition of image or video content, such as face, object and motion recognition, and gesture and activity recognition. Additionally, the affordability of modern depth sensors, such as the Microsoft Kinect, Asus Xtion Pro live, PrimeSense Carmine and Leap Motion, represent a huge leap forward. While monitoring technology for public security is relatively mature, attention is now focussed on the use of sensing technology embedded in devices used to promote health and enhance wellbeing and safety. However, monitoring is often seen as intrusive and as violating rights to privacy. This feeling is increased with the use of cameras. Acceptance of such technologies is low because they create a sense of Orwellian “Big Brother” surveillance. This talk will review the main application of computer vision for active and assisted living, and it will discuss some of the issues related to privacy and acceptance of video-based AAL systems.

Dr. Simona Crea

Dr. Simona Crea received the M.Sc. degree in biomedical engineering (cum laude) from the University of Pisa, Italy, in 2012; she received the PhD degree in Biorobotics from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna on 2015. She is currently Post-doctoral fellow at The BioRobotics Institute with the Wearable Robotics Laboratory. She has been involved in different EU-funded projects (CYBERLEGs, AIDE, HUMAN) and regional projects (EARLYREHAB, CENTAURO, RONDA). Her research activities are mainly focused on the design of novel control strategies and human-robot interfaces for upper- and lower-limb exoskeletons, development of wearable sensors for movement assessment and validation of robotic devices with target end-users.

Talk: An upper-limb exoskeleton for movement assistance in activities of daily living

In the state of the art of multi-modal architectures for the control of upper limb robotic exoskeletons, few wearable robotic platforms exploiting a shared human-robot control system have been developed and tested in activities of daily living scenarios. The AIDE project aims to develop and validate a modular and adaptive multimodal human-machine interface system to allow people with moderate and severe impairments interacting with intelligent devices to perform ADLs and participate in society. The AIDE shared-control system combines information gathered from the user, the interfaces and the context, in order to support him/her in controlling the robotic devices or external applications to perform the desired activity. The AIDE shared-control system and preliminary experimental results will be presented.

Dr. Arantxa Alfaro Sáez

Arantxa Alfaro Sáez, MD, PhD, is a neurologist at Hospital Vega Baja in Orihuela (Spain) and researcher in the Neuroengineering and Neuroprosthesis Unit at the Bioengineering Institute in the University Miguel Hernández (Spain). She completed his specialty training at the Berenson Allen Center for non-invasive brain stimulation (Harvard Medical School, Boston, US) and as a Marie-Curie fellow at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology, University Medical Center in Göttingen (Germany). Her research interests are on neuroplasticity and reorganization in severe vision loss and developing non-invasive methodologies for the selection of appropriate candidates for implantation of visual neuroprosthesis. Moreover, she is actively working in diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases with special focus on neurorehabilitation, neurophtalmology and epilepsy. She belongs to several scientific societies such as the Epilepsy and Neurophtalmology study groups of the Spanish society of Neurology (SEN) and founder member of the Neurorehabilitation group of the Valencia society of Neurology (SVN).

Talk: Neuroplasticity and blindness: a way to neurorehabilitation

Clinical applications such as artificial vision require intimate collaborations among basic scientists, engineers and clinicians. We know that visual experience affects the developing of visual circuits but how these circuits could be restored after years of blindness? Could a person re-acquire useful visual function after being deprived of sight? Knowledge of the adaptive ability of the visual cortex in blind people provides information to study neuroplasticity and may have implications in the assessment of rehabilitation procedures and the design of visual neuroprosthesis. In this context, on-going research on clinical case studies can lead to fascinating new discoveries about neuroplasticity in conditions of sensory deprivation as well as provide relevant knowledge for rehabilitation programs and for the development of useful visual neuroprosthesis for the blind.
8 December 2016